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Liar, Liar: March 16th

It is super weird when you first find out your pregnant and you can’t tell anyone. Especially when it’s your first pregnancy so your mind is totally blown and you’re trying to act like everything is normal instead of irrevocably different.

So for those living in a cave, people tend to keep things secret first trimester because it has the greatest chance of miscarriage, which unfortunately is much more common than people think. So you’re faced with the thought process of “would I want to talk to this person if that happened” and the answer is usually no. So that fun guessing game you like to play, outing your pregnant friends? You’re being a dick. Stop it.

So anyways, I found myself in the liar camp, which was super hard for me because I’m paranoid, carry a guilt complex, and am normally an over-sharer. Seriously, it’s miracle that I kept this under wraps. (more…)

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The Distance From Here to There

I’ve tried not to dwell on the anniversaries that are popping up around me. They’re not on my calendar, and although the scars are always there, they don’t have dates engraved in them, just a general sense of time they appeared. But then there’s social media. Facebook has a nifty feature to look back and see the things that happened on a date all through the years you belonged to the site. You can see where I’m going with this.

Usually it’s fun and interesting because I think I joined in 2004, so there’s a lot of years on there and a lot of different life stages captured that are fun to look back on. But August is a tough month for this, the last week in particular. I don’t re-read my posts because it’s still too fresh, but I have re-read the last couple that were a year ago and it’s a sort of out of body experience.

The person writing them is me of course, but it’s me at my worst/best. It’s me in an impossible situation that is so far from my normal day to day that I can recognize it’s me but it’s a very different me. I imagine that it’s sort of like if you had a baby, you’d look back at yourself in the delivery room and what you did to get through giving birth and you’d know that was you, but the way that you dealt with it and reacted to it is so outside your normal thought and emotional realm that it’s like looking a different person.

I read a couple of those posts and I remember people telling me how strong I was for writing them, but I marvel at how angry I was. I’m still angry about certain things, I’ll let you know if that ever goes away. But there’s a difference between a simmering anger that normally takes the back seat with other life things going on, and a raging fire of anger that was consuming me that I see in those posts. Albeit watered down by pain meds. I have a temper that burns hot and burns out quickly, but in those posts I see someone on fire with no dampening in sight.

Having never lived alone because I stayed with and ended up marrying my college boyfriend, there are few things that make me feel more self sufficient than traveling for work. I have to go to somewhere I’ve never been or am unfamiliar with, figure out how to get where I need to be. Be completely self-reliant while also convincing those that I’m going to see that I’m someone they should rely on and trust with whatever we’re discussing/working on. There’s no one to bail me out or to hide behind. It’s deeply satisfying to succeed.

That’s what I was doing a few days ago when these unpleasant anniversaries reared their heads. I was away from my friends and family, but working 13 hours day and being a BOSS. A year ago I felt helpless and choice-less and so so angry. A few days ago I felt in absolute control and so very capable, and it couldn’t have been a better contrast.

Guess Who’s Employed?

Obviously it’s me, because it would be pretty weird if I were writing this post about someone else. I’m sure you’d all be polite about it, but secretly you’d be thinking “what the fuck do I care?” but since you take the time to read my blog about me, you presumably care that I am employed. So yay!

Normally I try and keep my social media and work separate, like church and state. And it’s totally like church and state in the United States because it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where I’ve worked and on what brands because I occasionally support stuff via social media and I have a LinkedIn profile. Kind of like how our elected politicians like to spend so much of their salaried time arguing about gay marriage and abortions, totally has nothing to do with their religious views, because they’re totally separate. On a related note, A. told me this weekend that I have to warn him when I’m going to start talking politics at things like rehearsal dinners so he can bail. I told him our secret word can be “republicans.” It actually wasn’t my fault, I was just curious if the woman I was talking to had insight on the Republican Senators voting to sell off our National Forests because she is a National Park employee.

Anyways, so this is a bit of an anomaly to post about a job, but it’s obviously pertinent due to the craziness that my life has gone through in the last year. My normal life starts tomorrow. And once I get things settled, Wally gets to come too. It’s somewhere I was hoping to work before all of this insanity happened and am very excited that it’s worked out. Anyone thinking I should have taken more time off before starting, My last day at my last job was March 18th or so. I’ve had plenty of time off. It’s going to be a little rough on Wally pup until I can start taking him, but I bought him a new squeaky toy and some treats to distract him.

And now some stories of applying for a job when you need a job rather than have the luxury of looking for a job you want. (Details have been altered to protect the innocent).

1. I applied to at least 20 places/job postings. I think it was more, but that’s the amount I can actually confirm. These ranged from actual postings to informational interview requests at agencies and in-house at companies. I’ve had five places I’ve been talking to over the last three weeks. There were a lot of exciting sounding jobs that then turned into “we don’t know when we’re hiring” scenarios upon meeting. I also got a lot of people that wanted to help me find a job but couldn’t hire me, crazy nice, but not a job. Even with the economy doing pretty well right now, it’s tough out there.

2. I took at least 6 different online personality quizzes and only two of those were for a corporate position. I think online quizzes for a role that I’m qualified for indicate a lack of confidence in hiring. Trust yourself, you’ll make a better judgement than a robot will. Plus, the two quizzes I have taken and seen my results for (one was last year for something different) I fell right in the middle of the results. Which means that the very specific descriptions are often totally off about me, such as “Even as a child you were likely quite industrious and showed respect for your parents and other authority figures…. Supervisors (my category) typically wish nothing more than to do what they’re supposed to do. As a result, your type is not one to question teachers’ assignments, methods of instruction, standards, or authority.” That noise you hear right now is all of my teachers laughing out loud at this. I did tell one company that I would not be able to finish their fourth online test because one of the questions asked me to rate in order of importance “Our taxes should be spent on…” and “faith-based initiatives, military spending, and balancing the budget” were three of the five options. No dice. To their credit though, they scheduled me for a second interview that I later turned down for the job I accepted.

3. The fun game of talking to people and never hearing from them again. I interviewed at one place for over an hour and half with the guy at a very well known place and he told me they were going to make a decision the next week. That was the beginning of February. Still waiting to hear. Another place I interviewed on the phone and was told they’d be setting up another interview in two days with me. That was two weeks ago. This is my biggest pet peeve about the hiring process. It take two minutes to send an email, just send one. To me it’s a black mark against that company down the road should I ever be looking again. Be professional, once we’ve talked you owe me an email. We’re both adults, I promise I’m not going to cry or key your car, I’m just going to move on with my job search knowing your company is no longer in the running. I also had a guy respond to my informational interview email request asking what brought me to New Orleans and then never responded to me again after that. That one was especially weird.

I’ve applied to over 100 jobs since graduating college in ’06. I’ve interviewed at one agency three different times and then they tried to recruit me for a fourth go a couple of years ago. My last agency I interviewed for a junior role in ’09 and then came back and started as an account executive in ’12. My first ad agency job I started the application process in October and had my first day the end of May. I’ve been interviewed many many times and I’ve lost track of all of the ‘thank you’ card and emails I’ve sent. But so it goes with the hustle.

Why I Hate Boo the Dog

This is Boo…

I am a huge dog fan. I love nothing more than to go up to a dog, ruffle it’s ears and say “who’s a good puppy” in a sickeningly sweet voice while they wag their tails (because they know they’re the good puppy!  So why do I hate Boo? Read on. 

I manage a Facebook page for a big brand as part of my job. Back when we were small and slowly growing, we were all about numbers. When we hit 100k we were ecstatic! However, one day I read a blog post about our friend Boo. Boo had way more fans than us and was as you can see, a dog. I didn’t hate Boo then though.

Boo caused me to reevaluate how I was measuring success for our Facebook group. I came to the conclusion that just like something else, size does matter, but it’s not everything or even the most important part. I came to the conclusion that Facebook success is more about interactions (aka what you do with it). You need the numbers so you can increase the amount of people you’re reaching, but if they’re not visiting your page or have you hidden on their wall feeds, you’re not being successful.

When people interact with your page it shows up on their feeds and reaches all of their friends, multiplying by an average of 100 times (the average number of FB friends is around 100 according to Facebook). It also develops a relationship between them and your brand. The more they interact, the stronger the relationship. The goal is to build a community, where followers are sharing and interacting with each other, not just the brand.

So why do I hate Boo? Well we’ve had a lot of growth since our initial 100k and I’m currently working on my monthly report on the page and thought I’d add a page celebrating our overtake of Boo the dog, finally. So I went to Boo’s page and that motherfucker jumped to 777k after being featured on CNN. He doesn’t even appreciate it.

Thus… I hate Boo the dog.